If you’ve read ShadowPlay for any amount of time you’ll be fully aware who, and what, MJ Hibbett is – for some the funniest guy in indie music who tells it like it is, for others, I’ve been told, he comes across as smug and judging. Evidently I agree with the former so it’s a pleasure to see the man from Peterborough/Leicester return with a new studio album, Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez which commits to record some of the tunes he’s been touring for the last year or two.
So, he bounds in with Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid – something I totally agree with as cheerful prose can often come across as irritating when really, why not? I know it’s not very English though – Do the Indie Kid and It Only Works Because You’re Here. In true Hibbett style they’re great stories – French mid-90s discos, dancing at weddings and broken computers leading to romance, you know the score. Elsewhere we get the glorious My Boss Was in an Indie Band Once and One of the Walls of My House Fell In which are both as much for fans of a good story tape as a tune. Hibbett’s always adjustable, cheery vocal can sometimes get a little over the course of a whole record but some beautiful work from his Validators, namely Tom ‘Tiger’ McClure in particular make this as enjoyable, original and funny a record as the comic legend has produced so far.
[A book of all the lyrics and the story behind each song is also available and an engaging read]